Nikon’s G vs D Lenses

What is the difference between Nikkor D type and G type lenses?

The first thing to be aware of is that Nikon D lenses will not auto focus on entry level DLSR such as the Nikon D3000 and D5000 range as they do not have a built in auto focus motor. For that range you will need AF-S G lenses to get auto focus unless you are happy with manual focus which may suit for portraits and macro work. You will be ok with D lenses to auto focus on the Nikon D7000 digital camera range and upwards.

When using a D lens on your DSLR simply turn the aperture ring to the lowest aperture point (the point is marked in orange for eg f16 on the Nikon AF 50mm f1.4) and it will lock in so that the camera then will show you what apertures you can select. The main difference with the new Nikon G lenses is there is no aperture ring as needed to be used for manually adjusting the aperture on older SLR cameras that you see on the D lenses.

AF-S lenses are much quicker in auto focus and with newer lenses and glass technology has improved in the area of advanced coatings, for reducing reflection, ghosting, and flare. They have clarity, crispness in the higher end lens range with the Nano Crystal Coating technology

However some of my favourite lenses still today are D prime lenses (non zoom) and are very affordable and you could pick up a bargain. They may not be as quick to focus but are great value for the quality on full frame and especially APS-C.  The Nikon AF Nikkor 28mm f2.8D, 35mm f2D, 50mm 1.4D and 85mm 1.8D are particularly good value so check out the lens reviews on and prices at and you will pick up a bargain. In the G range the inexpensive primes are the 35mm 1.8 DX (ideal cheap walk around prime on the APS-C), 50mm f1.8G, 50mm 1.4G value and also the 60mm f2.8 Micro/Macro which can also be used as a portrait lens on the D7000 range.

For further information and guide to buying the photography gear to suit your needs visit Cameras Direct or call Cameras Direct and talk to a photographer.

Editor : Stack Exchange have an article also on the Differences between D & G type lenses